|Hmm, something is going on here. Do you see what I see? Oh-ma-gawd! What is that? Someone shrunk a chook!|
So, I replaced their bedding, moved their chook house and run, bought and applied Pestene powder, wormed them at the same time, cut off some matted poopy feathers & egg-clumps, and have been keeping up the treatment weekly, for any lice eggs that have hatched since. Poor, poor chookens. They haven't been too upset by it, they've continued laying, been eating & getting around just fine. Other than Spotty having a limpy leg for a while, they have been happy and healthy. We are buying some diatomaceous earth to sprinkle carefully in their nesting and dust bath areas. There are other natural methods too. By adding a couple of covers over the top of the 'playpen' chook run, we have kept a lot of the wild birds out too, including the Indian Myna's, which apparently are quite good at spreading lice. Of course, the big thing we will be doing is checking them regularly!!
We did hesitate to get the new chooks when we were still dealing with eradicating lice from our original flock. However, the opportunity to purchase some rare breed chooks, that were already at the age to handle being outside, had come up and we had agreed to buy them. Now they are being housed away from the other chooks anyway, it doesn't matter as much. Of course, we will still be keeping a close eye on our little peepers. We are talking to them, going into their playpen, and picking them up sometimes, to get them used to us. They get locked up in their little chook house each night, and happily run around, scratch and explore their new home during the day. Did I mention how cute they are! They have a shared fence with the other girls, and when the others are free-ranging, they are getting exposed to each other through the other sides of the fence too. Once the Little Sisters get big enough to defend themselves, or to not fit in their little chook house anymore, it will be time to start assimilating them in with their Big Sisters. I will post some photos of how we have their houses/ runs set up in the next post!